The Council of Europe has urged Ireland to toughen its laws on political funding and spending, in order to increase transparency.

A report of the Council's Group of States against Corruption praised what it calls the 'thorough' regulatory system, and the role of the Standards Commission, but recommends further changes.

Suggested changes include a lowering of the threshold for declaring donations; a requirement on political parties to keep and publish accounts of all income and expenditure, including financial information on local branches; and extending the period covered by election spending limits.

The report also encourages Ireland to press ahead with planned changes to the laws against corruption.